Braverman accuses PM Sunak of ‘betraying the nation’ on illegal immigration in brutal letter

FILE- Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, left, and Britain's Home Secretary Suella Braverman, attend a meeting with the local community and police leaders following the announcement of a new police task force to help officers tackle grooming gangs, in Rochdale, England, Monday, April 3, 2023. (Phil Noble/Pool Photo via AP, File)
By Thomas Brooke
5 Min Read

Former U.K. Home Secretary Suella Braverman launched a blistering tirade against Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday, accusing him of “betraying” promises made to the nation to tackle illegal immigration.

In a bombshell letter following her sacking on Monday, Braverman accused the Conservative leader of “manifestly and repeatedly” failing to deliver on pledges made during the governing party’s leadership contest.

She reminded Sunak that he had been appointed as prime minister “despite being rejected by a majority of party members and thus having no mandate” to lead, and had garnered the conditional support of the Conservative Party’s right-wing cohort, including herself, on the proviso that the government would finally implement tough measures to tackle mass immigration — an issue that has plagued a multitude of previous administrations.

Braverman accused her former boss of responding to her concerns over the progress of these restrictive measures with “equivocation, disregard, and a lack of interest,” and claimed that Sunak had ignored numerous warnings from the Home Office about the need for further legislation and a firm Plan B with regards to the government’s Illegal Migration Act in case it is struck down by the Supreme Court.

“If we lose in the Supreme Court, an outcome that I have consistently argued we must be prepared for, you will have wasted a year and an Act of Parliament, only to arrive back at square one. Worse than this, your magical thinking — believing that you can will your way through this without upsetting polite opinion — has meant you have failed to prepare any sort of credible ‘Plan B,'” Braverman wrote.

“I wrote to you on multiple occasions setting out what a credible Plan B would entail and making clear that unless you pursue these proposals, in the event of defeat, there is no hope of flights this side of an election. I received no reply from you,” she added.

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The former home secretary also revealed that even if the government succeeds in the Supreme Court over its contested immigration legislation, the Conservative Party “will struggle to deliver our Rwanda partnership in the way the public expects” due to compromises “insisted on” by the prime minister in its drafting.

More generally, Braverman slammed the prime minister for continuing with a form of governance that “is not working”.

“We have endured record election defeats, your resets have failed, and we are running out of time. You need to change course urgently,” she warned.

She cited objections made by the prime minister’s office in reference to her recent article in The Times newspaper in which she accused the Metropolitan Police of two-tier policing in regards to protests. She claimed that police officers are being seen as favoriting “pro-Palestinian mobs” over “right-wing or nationalist” groups and cited the often overzealous response by the London police force towards lockdown protests and right-wing rallies.

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“I have become hoarse urging you to consider legislation to ban the hate marches and help stem the tide of racism, intimidation, and terrorist glorification threatening community cohesion,” Braverman wrote in relation to the pro-Palestinian demonstrations and rise of anti-Semitism on Britain’s streets.

“I regret to say that your response has been uncertain, weak, and lacking in the qualities of leadership that this country needs,” she added.

Braverman fell short of calling for Sunak to resign, but some will see the letter as a pretense to a potential leadership campaign.

“I may not have always found the right words, but I have always striven to give voice to the quiet majority that supported us in 2019,” she concluded, potentially setting out her stall for another application for the top job.

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